Wiring Switch Machines

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by bentgen, Jun 26, 2006.

  1. bentgen

    bentgen New Member

    Has anyone tried using a computer printer or SCSI cable to connect a turnout control panel to the layout?

    I'll be controlling 24 Tortoise switch machines. I was thinking of a female recpticle recessed into the layout and a cable with a male end coming from the control panel. Wires from the cables would go to terminal blocks at both ends. That much I can handle.

    What I'm unsure of is the ability of the wire to carry the current. All of those machines are constantly drawing current, right? If I use a common wire, will that heat up?
  2. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    The Tortoise has a low current draw, so the computer cable should be adequate.
    You can't use a common wire with the tortoise as each one uses the output from a DPDT switch and requires 2 wires. (unless you are using a non-standard control method)
  3. bentgen

    bentgen New Member


    There is a method shown in the Tortoise manual where SPDT switches are used. There is a schematic, and the accompanying text reads as follows:
    This system requires two similar DC supplies of
    not more than 12 volts each. They are wired in series with the (+) of one supply
    connected to the ( - ) of the other supply. This common connection feeds a bus wire that
    runs around the entire layout. One of the motor connections from each TORTOISE
    connects to this bus. Single pole switches connect either the (+) supply or the ( - ) supply
    to the single wire that runs from the panel to the remaining TORTOISE motor connection.
    This system offers simplified wiring and the use of lower cost SPDT switches for control.
    This is offset slightly by the increased cost of the two supplies.

  4. ScottyB

    ScottyB Member

  5. DavidB-AU

    DavidB-AU Member

    Yes, we've used ribbon cable to power Tortoise point motors on the club's modular layout without any problems.



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